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Publication 17
Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals)
Introduction, Useful Items and Important Changes
For use in Preparing 2018 Returns

Part 1
The Income Tax Return

Chapter 1
Filing Information

Do I Have To File a Return?

Individuals—In General
Certain Children Under Age 19 or Full-Time Students
Self-Employed Persons
Who Should File

Form 1040

Why Should I File Electronically?

Electronic Filing

When Do I Have To File?

Extensions of Time To File

How Do I Prepare My Return?

When Do I Report My Income and Expenses?
Social Security Number (SSN)
Presidential Election Campaign Fund
Third Party Designee
Paid Preparer
Amount You Owe
Gift To Reduce Debt Held by the Public
Name and Address

Where Do I File?

What Happens After I File?

What Records Should I Keep?
Why Keep Records?
Kinds of Records To Keep
Basic Records
How Long To Keep Records
Refund Information
Interest on Refunds
Change of Address

What If I Made a Mistake?

Amended Returns and Claims for Refund
Identity Theft

Chapter 2
Filing Status

Marital Status


Married Filing Jointly

Filing a Joint Return

Married Filing Separately

Special Rules

Head of Household

Considered Unmarried
Keeping Up a Home
Qualifying Person

Qualifying Widow(er)

Chapter 3


Qualifying Child
Qualifying Relative

Social Security Numbers for Dependents

Chapter 4
Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax

Tax Withholding for 2019

Salaries and Wages
Taxable Fringe Benefits
Sick Pay
Pensions and Annuities
Gambling Winnings
Unemployment Compensation
Federal Payments
Backup Withholding

Estimated Tax for 2019

Who Doesn't Have To Pay Estimated Tax
Who Must Pay Estimated Tax
How To Figure Estimated Tax
When To Pay Estimated Tax
How To Figure Each Payment
How To Pay Estimated Tax

Credit for Withholding and Estimated Tax for 2018

Estimated Tax

Underpayment Penalty for 2018

Part 2

Chapter 5
Wages, Salaries, and Other Earnings

Employee Compensation

Miscellaneous Compensation
Fringe Benefits
Retirement Plan Contributions
Stock Options
Restricted Property

Special Rules for Certain Employees

Members of Religious Orders
Foreign Employer

Sickness and Injury Benefits

Disability Pensions
Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts
Workers' Compensation
Other Sickness and Injury Benefits

Chapter 6
Tip Income

Keeping a Daily Tip Record

Reporting Tips to Your Employer

Reporting Tips on Your Tax Return

Allocated Tips

Chapter 7
Interest Income

General Information

Taxable Interest

U.S. Savings Bonds
Education Savings Bond Program
U.S. Treasury Bills, Notes, and Bonds
Bonds Sold Between Interest Dates
State or Local Government Obligations
Original Issue Discount (OID)

When To Report Interest Income

How To Report Interest Income

Chapter 8
Dividends and Other Distributions

General Information

Ordinary Dividends

Qualified Dividends
Dividends Used To Buy More Stock
Money Market Funds

Capital Gain Distributions

Nondividend Distributions

Liquidating Distributions
Distributions of Stock and Stock Rights

Other Distributions

How To Report Dividend Income

Chapter 9
Rental Income and Expenses

Rental Income

Rental Expenses

Repairs and Improvements
Other Expenses

Property Changed to Rental Use

Renting Part of Property

Not Rented for Profit

Personal Use of Dwelling Unit (Including Vacation Home)

Dividing Expenses
Dwelling Unit Used as a Home
Reporting Income and Deductions

Depreciation of Rental Property

Limits on Rental Losses

At-Risk Rules
Passive Activity Limits

How To Report Rental Income and Expenses

Schedule E (Form 1040)

Chapter 10
Retirement Plans, Pensions, and Annuities

General Information

How To Report

Cost (Investment in the Contract)

Taxation of Periodic Payments

Simplified Method

Taxation of Nonperiodic Payments

Lump-Sum Distributions


Special Additional Taxes

Tax on Early Distributions
Tax on Excess Accumulation

Survivors and Beneficiaries

Chapter 11
Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits

Are Any of Your Benefits Taxable?

How To Report Your Benefits

How Much Is Taxable?


Deductions Related to Your Benefits

Repayments More Than Gross Benefits

Chapter 12
Other Income


Canceled Debts


Host or Hostess

Life Insurance Proceeds

Endowment Contract Proceeds
Accelerated Death Benefits
Public Safety Officer Killed or Injured in the Line of Duty

Partnership Income

S Corporation Income


Itemized Deduction Recoveries

Rents From Personal Property



Unemployment Benefits

Welfare and Other Public Assistance Benefits

Other Income

Part 3
Gains and Losses

Chapter 13
Basis of Property

Cost Basis

Real Property

Adjusted Basis

Increases to Basis
Decreases to Basis

Basis Other Than Cost

Property Received for Services
Taxable Exchanges
Nontaxable Exchanges
Property Transferred From a Spouse
Property Received as a Gift
Inherited Property
Property Changed From Personal to Business or Rental Use
Stocks and Bonds

Chapter 14
Sale of Property

Sales and Trades

What Is a Sale or Trade?
How To Figure Gain or Loss
Nontaxable Trades
Transfers Between Spouses
Related Party Transactions

Capital Gains and Losses

Capital or Ordinary Gain or Loss
Capital Assets and Noncapital Assets
Holding Period
Nonbusiness Bad Debts
Wash Sales

Chapter 15
Selling Your Home

Main Home

Figuring Gain or Loss

Selling Price
Amount Realized
Adjusted Basis
Amount of Gain or Loss
Dispositions Other Than Sales
Determining Basis

Excluding the Gain

Maximum Exclusion
Ownership and Use Tests
Reduced Maximum Exclusion
Deferral of Gain

Business Use or Rental of Home

Reporting the Sale

Special Situations

Recapturing (Paying Back) a Federal Mortgage Subsidy

Chapter 16
Reporting Gains and Losses

Reporting Capital Gains and Losses

Capital Losses
Capital Gain Tax Rates

Part 4
Adjustments to Income

Chapter 17
Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)

Traditional IRAs

Who Can Open a Traditional IRA?
When and How Can a Traditional IRA Be Opened?
How Much Can Be Contributed?
When Can Contributions Be Made?
How Much Can You Deduct?
Nondeductible Contributions
Inherited IRAs
Can You Move Retirement Plan Assets?
When Can You Withdraw or Use IRA Assets?
When Must You Withdraw IRA Assets? (Required Minimum Distributions)
Are Distributions Taxable?
What Acts Result in Penalties or Additional Taxes?

Roth IRAs

What Is a Roth IRA?
When Can a Roth IRA Be Opened?
Can You Contribute to a Roth IRA?
Can You Move Amounts Into a Roth IRA?
Are Distributions Taxable?

Chapter 18

General Rules

Instruments Executed After 1984 and Before 2019

How To Deduct Alimony Paid Before 2019

How To Report Alimony Received Before 2019

Recapture Rule

Chapter 19
Education- Related Adjustments

What's New

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Student Loan Interest Defined
Can You Claim the Deduction?
How Much Can You Deduct?
How Do You Figure the Deduction?

Educator Expenses

Chapter 20
Other Adjustments to Income

Travel Expenses

Traveling Away From Home
Tax Home
Temporary Assignment or Job
What Travel Expenses Are Deductible?
Travel in the United States
Travel Outside the United States

Meals and Entertainment Expenses

50% Limit on Meals
What Meal Expenses Are Deductible?

Gift Expenses

Transportation Expenses

Car Expenses


How To Prove Expenses
How Long To Keep Records and Receipts

How To Report

Completing Form 2106
Special Rules

Part 5
Standard Deduction, Itemized Deductions, and Other Deductions

Chapter 21
Standard Deduction

Standard Deduction Amount

Higher Standard Deduction for Age (65 or Older)
Higher Standard Deduction for Blindness
Spouse 65 or Older or Blind
Higher Standard Deduction for Net Disaster Loss

Standard Deduction for Dependents

Who Should Itemize

Chapter 22
Medical and Dental Expenses

What Are Medical Expenses?

What Expenses Can You Include This Year?

How Much of the Expenses Can You Deduct?

Whose Medical Expenses Can You Include?


What Medical Expenses Are Includible?

Insurance Premiums
Meals and Lodging
Disabled Dependent Care Expenses

How Do You Treat Reimbursements?

Insurance Reimbursement

Damages for Personal Injuries

How Do You Report the Deduction on Your Tax Return?

What Tax Form Do You Use?

Impairment-Related Work Expenses

Health Insurance Costs for Self-Employed Persons

Chapter 23

Tests To Deduct Any Tax

Income Taxes

State and Local Income Taxes
Foreign Income Taxes

State and Local General Sales Taxes

State and Local Real Estate Taxes

Real Estate-Related Items You Can’t Deduct

Personal Property Taxes

Taxes and Fees You Can’t Deduct

Where To Deduct

Chapter 24
Interest Expense

Home Mortgage Interest

Amount Deductible
Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement

Investment Interest

Investment Property
Allocation of Interest Expense
Limit on Deduction

Items You Can’t Deduct

Personal Interest

Allocation of Interest

How To Report

Chapter 25

Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions

Types of Qualified Organizations

Contributions You Can Deduct

Contributions From Which You Benefit
Expenses Paid for Student Living With You
Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services

Contributions You Can't Deduct

Contributions to Individuals
Contributions to Nonqualified Organizations
Contributions From Which You Benefit
Value of Time or Services
Personal Expenses
Appraisal Fees

Contributions of Property

Determining Fair Market Value
Giving Property That Has Decreased in Value
Giving Property That Has Increased in Value

When To Deduct

Limits on Deductions


Records To Keep

Cash Contributions
Noncash Contributions
Out-of-Pocket Expenses

How To Report

Chapter 26
Nonbusiness Casualty and Theft Losses



Loss on Deposits

Proof of Loss

Figuring a Loss

Decrease in FMV
Adjusted Basis
Insurance and Other Reimbursements
Single Casualty on Multiple Properties

Deduction Limits

$100 Rule
10% Rule

When To Report Gains and Losses

Disaster Area Loss

How To Report Gains and Losses

Chapter 27
Other Itemized Deductions

Miscellaneous Itemized Deductions

Unreimbursed Employee Expenses
Categories of Employment
Educator Expenses
Expenses You Can’t Deduct

Nondeductible Expenses

List of Nondeductible Expenses

Expenses You Can Deduct

List of Deductions

Chapter 28
Qualified Business Income Deduction

Part 6
Figuring Your Taxes, and Refundable and Nonrefundable Credits

Chapter 29
How To Figure Your Tax

Figuring Your Tax

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

Tax Figured by IRS

Filing the Return

Chapter 30
Tax on Unearned Income of Certain Children

Which Parent's Return To Use

Parents Who Don't File a Joint Return

Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends

Effect of Making the Election

Tax for Certain Children Who Have Unearned Income

Chapter 31
Child and Dependent Care Credit

Can You Claim the Credit?

Who Is a Qualifying Person?
You Must Have Earned Income
Are These Work-Related Expenses?
What's Your Filing Status?
Care Provider Identification Test

How To Figure the Credit

Figuring Total Work-Related Expenses
Earned Income Limit
Dollar Limit
Amount of Credit

How To Claim the Credit

Do You Have Household Employees?

Chapter 32
Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled

Are You Eligible for the Credit?

Qualified Individual
Income Limits

How To Claim the Credit

Credit Figured for You
Credit Figured by You

Chapter 33
Child Tax Credit/Credit for Other Dependents

Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Requirements

Improper Claims

Child Tax Credit (CTC)

Qualifying Child for the CTC
Required SSN

Credit for Other Dependents (ODC)

Qualifying Person for the ODC

Limits on the CTC and ODC

Claiming the CTC and ODC

Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)

Chapter 34
Education Credits

Who Can Claim an Education Credit

Qualified Education Expenses

No Double Benefit Allowed
Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses

Chapter 35
Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Do You Qualify for the Credit?

If Improper Claim Made in Prior Year

Part A. Rules for Everyone

Rule 1. Your AGI Must Be Less Than:
Rule 2. You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN)
Rule 3. Your Filing Status Can't Be Married Filing Separately
Rule 4. You Must Be a U.S. Citizen or Resident Alien All Year
Rule 5. You Can't File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ
Rule 6. Your Investment Income Must Be $3,500 or Less
Rule 7. You Must Have Earned Income

Part B. Rules if You Have a Qualifying Child

Rule 8. Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests
Rule 9. Your Qualifying Child Can't Be Used by More Than One Person To Claim the EIC
Rule 10. You Can't Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer

Part C. Rules if You Don't Have a Qualifying Child

Rule 11. You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65
Rule 12. You Can't Be the Dependent of Another Person
Rule 13. You Can't Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer
Rule 14. You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year

Part D. Figuring and Claiming the EIC

Rule 15. Your Earned Income Must Be Less Than:
The IRS Will Figure the EIC for You
How To Figure the EIC Yourself


Example—John and Janet Smith

EIC Eligibility Checklist

Chapter 36
Premium Tax Credit (PTC)

What is the Premium Tax Credit (PTC)?

Who Can Take the PTC?

Terms You May Need to Know

How To Take the PTC

Chapter 37
Other Credits

Nonrefundable Credits

Adoption Credit
Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
Credit to Holders of Tax Credit Bonds
Foreign Tax Credit
Mortgage Interest Credit
Nonrefundable Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax
Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit
Residential Energy Credit
Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit)

Refundable Credits

Credit for Tax on Undistributed Capital Gain
Health Coverage Tax Credit
Credit for Excess Social Security Tax or Railroad Retirement Tax Withheld

2018 Tax Tables

Your Rights as a Taxpayer

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights
Examinations (Audits)
Taxpayer Advocate Service
Tax Information

How To Get Tax Help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) Is Here To Help You
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs)